Confirmation is the second of the sacraments of initiation. Some say it “completes” baptism. Confirmation is a sacrament because it marks one’s personal commitment, before the Church community and the leader of the local church, the bishop, to being open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and continuing their commitment made in baptism in an intentional and conscious way.
As in baptism, oil is used as a symbol to make one holy and to “seal” the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Again, one is marked with a sign, representing a seal on their mind, heart, and soul, that she or he commits his or her life to becoming who God intends him or her to be, and doing what she or he is called to do.
Again, in this sacrament of initiation, the community is very important. The community serves as witnesses and supporters of one’s commitment. When one promises to direct one’s life in a certain way, she or he is not only proud of it, but also needs support and accountability. The community offers ongoing direction as one journeys forward in discipleship, and offers accountability by reminding someone of the promises she or he made before their friends, the bishop, and God.
Just as in other commitment ceremonies (like marriage, or other secular ceremonies), one makes promises to God. This is a covenant that should not be taken lightly. The sacrament is not a hoop Catholics jump through, it is a personal commitment of one’s life. Confirmation is, like other sacraments, a sacrament that begins one’s journey in a new way. It is a sign of maturity and discipleship, and should be made when one is fully ready.
Children are usually Confirmed in eighth grade. Archdiocesan regulations require that they attend two years of continuous religious instruction [seventh & eighth grades] prior to the reception of the sacrament, whether in our school or our Religious Education Program.
Adults are usually Confirmed either at the Easter Vigil after participating in the RCIA program or at special Vicariate celebrations after participating in a six session preparation program.
You may call the parish office at 708-599-5300 for dates, locations and more information.